Request for an apology from C Isbell

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at
Wed Mar 27 02:55:19 EST 2002

Charles, I strongly object to this personal attack! I am happy to leave
the subject if that is the consensus of list members - though so far
only two members have called for a halt and a considerably larger number
have joined in the discussion. But I cannot accept this kind of baseless

I especially resent your statement that I do not know a bit of grammar.
I would ask you to read my postings to this list over the past five
years in which I have demonstrated a reasonable, and I hope increasing
though certainly not perfect, knowledge of Hebrew grammar. If I have
misunderstood the grammar of Genesis 1:1, I would appreciate your
insights on how to understand it better. But such a generalised attack
is simply offensive.

In attempting to practice exegesis rather than eisegesis, I have sought
to find the oldest understanding of the Hebrew text and so quoted a
source more than 2000 years old. Is that why you say I am 2000 years
behind the times? Are you saying you want me to look only at the
evidence of modern interpreters and at the grammatical understanding of
modern Hebrew speakers? Surely that is eisegesis, the reading into the
text of more than 2000 years of interpretation and language change.

I accept that I don't know exactly what BERESHIT means, because there is
not sufficient evidence to be certain. If you do, and have evidence for
it, please tell us. If not, please withdraw your allegation.

Charles, I expect a public apology (on the list) from you.

Peter Kirk

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Charles David Isbell [mailto:cisbell at]
> Sent: 25 March 2002 17:14
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: Re: Is R)$YT even a "time" word?
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Christian M. M. Brady" <cbrady at>
>  Mommy?! Where is the list mom? This really should stop now...
> ***********
> Dear Christian,
> I cannot agree more.  In the past several weeks we have learned a lot.
> According to the postings of Ian and Peter about each other, we now
> been told that:
> [a] Neither one knows what bereshit means, although the accent on the
> final
> syllable of the word gives me a clue.
> [b] Neither one can read a text.
> [c] Neither knows a bit of grammar.
> [d] Both are 2000 years behind the times.
> [e] Both practice eisegesis rather than exegesis.
> <VBF>  <very big frown>
> It should be clear by now that the issue between Peter and Ian cannot
> settled by appeals to grammar or syntax alone.  Since many of us
> read this verse with our classes, can anyone imagine taking students
> through
> the exchanges we have seen here?  Why not leave it now, please!
> If the text said BaRiShoNaH, dayyenu;
> If the text said Be-ReShiT Bero' [see Gen 5.1], dayyenu;
> If the LXX had an article, dayyenu;
> I am certain that when the God who brought us out of Egypt first wrote
> this
> verse, it did not reflect this terrible grammatical muddle.  Something
> obviously been inserted by the Devil to keep us from reading the rest
> the
> Bible.
> Charles

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